:: Article


By Nik Korpon.

I flaked rust off the mailbox flag and pressed it between my fingers until it was soft as a fresh scab. Wayne shuffled down the driveway, gravel flying like epithets, nudged my elbow. He smelled like the background of a Tom Waits song.

‘Come back to the house.’

Dried brown splotches on his nose. I thought of a pig snout. His lips were like rice paper, rice paper ringed with foil burns. I wanted to touch them, but stopped myself.

‘There’s no light in the house,’ I said.

He only shrugged and scratched his crotch, turned away. In the window, shadows moved like languid wraiths.

The ground vibrated and I listened for a train whistle but only heard the wind blow over my ears like the top of a cracked milk jug. I laid the rust on my tongue and felt the pockmarks dissolve. It tasted of blood.


Nik Korpon is from Baltimore, MD. He likes to bang on the keyboard until something intelligible comes out, or his head hurts, whichever comes first. His stories have appeared in various places and his first novel, Stay God, is currently making the rounds. He reviews books for the Outsider Writer Collective and is writing his second novel.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, October 1st, 2009.